COLUMBIA, Md. — When police entered the apartment on Spiral Cut Lane in Columbia, they discovered the body of 36-year-old Amanda Nicole Harris in the dining area, and her boyfriend, 42-year-old William James Webb, clinging to life on the floor of a back bedroom.
Both had been beaten with a blood-soaked baseball bat found inside the unit.
A break in the case came from a communal trash bin outside the complex.
"During our initial search, our officers discovered a discarded cell phone in a dumpster that belonged to the victim,” said Sherry Llewellyn of the Howard County Police Department, “Using that cellphone, the detectives were able to link to another person, and then ultimately to the suspect."
Police have arrested 22-year-old Wilson Orellana-Lemus in connection with the beating death after court records suggest he used the victim's phone to call a female acquaintance who he later gave a bag of jewelry stolen during the home invasion.
It's a case which brought back painful memories for a woman who was also victimized by the suspect almost two years ago.
"I was a victim two years ago,” said the woman, “He entered my apartment, and I woke up in the middle of the night with him standing right next to my bed without wearing any clothes, just underwear."
The woman's dog scared off the intruder and he was arrested five minutes later.
That victim lived just a block from where Harris and Webb were attacked, and while Orellana-Lemus was convicted of burglary and sentenced to a year behind bars, he only ended up serving two months of his sentence.
"I can't help to feel guilty as well, because if a different sentence was given to him at that time, probably this wouldn't be happening right now," added the woman.
Police say the suspect entered the apartment through an unsecured window, and while he admits to entering the residence and attacking the male victim, he told detectives he only did so to stop a domestic assault going on between William Webb and his girlfriend.